COVID-19 FAQs for Prospective Study Abroad Students
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Updated Thursday 13 August

We are working hard to ensure we manage any impact that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) might have on Study Abroad students who will be joining us in September 2020. We will regularly update this page as more information becomes available, so please check back regularly.

If you have any immediate concerns or need assistance, please contact us at

Starting my Studies in UCD

The term dates for 2020/21 are available here.

  • 1st Year Undergraduate programmes will commence on Monday 28 September. Revised dates are available here





The Irish Government has set out a schedule for reopening society after COVID-19, and UCD has announced details on how teaching, learning and assessment can be conducted for the coming academic year. 

UCD aims to give you the best possible campus and blended learning experience, and we are planning to deliver all programmes to the highest standards on which UCD's reputation is based.

UCD is a campus-based university and we consider face-to-face interaction between students, and between students and faculty, to be vital ingredients in your learning journey. While the national response to COVID-19 presents challenges in maintaining this experience, we will seek to ensure that our students commence and continue their education in UCD accessing and using our campuses to the greatest extent possible.

 Currently UCD is working towards the following principles for the Autumn Trimester:

  • Core modules are expected to have elements delivered in person on the campus.
  • Recognising that availability of students to attend campus may change through the course of the trimester, at-distance alternatives will be available.
  • Elective-only modules will be delivered at distance wherever possible.
  • Module offerings may be reduced in order to reduce the mixing of students.
  • Continuous assessment or other open book assessment formats will be used to the greatest extent possible.

The UCD community is looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in September. We will seek to ensure that your education in UCD enables you to access and use our campuses, and maximises your personal interaction with your friends and faculty.








In the 2020/21 academic year, UCD aims to provide as much face-to-face teaching as possible in our safe and welcoming campus.

Recognising that larger lectures and classes will not be able to run at normal physical capacity due to public health guidelines, students across the university will have a mix of online and face-to-face classes and tutorials, with variations depending on subjects and stages. 

Each of the six Colleges within UCD is devising a teaching and learning schedule that best suits the subjects in that college. Specific information relevant to your programme of study will be communicated to you as soon as possible. 

If the public health position changes, UCD will implement revised teaching scenarios accordingly. We hope we can increase the amount of face-to-face engagement and social activities that we are able to offer over the year as Irish Government and Public Health advice allows.









‘Online teaching’ will take place where it involves large groups of students or we are unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. Large lectures will be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure the study week. The online lecture material will allow students to work at their own pace, where and when this suits them. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots.

The lecture material or other equivalent material will be available for students on Brightspace whenever they wish, to catch up on anything they may have missed. When government and public health advice allows for the campus to operate normally, some lectures will revert again to face-to-face, student lectures will still be captured digitally where possible so that students can watch them back online, with our lecture capture service.

‘On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. The details of how this works will depend on Irish government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time. 









In 2020/21 academic year we aim to provide as much face-to-face teaching as possible in our safe and welcoming campus.  You will debate topics in seminars, develop practical skills in labs and tackle big issues in workshops. We are putting measures in place to help you stay safe. This may mean teaching in smaller groups, delivering shorter sessions or staggering start times.

Large group activities, like lectures, will take place through digital methods. You will be able to ask questions, contribute to discussions and, with recorded sessions, look back on what you have learned. Methods and systems will vary from course to course. Your School will provide more details closer to the start of the year.

We want you to enjoy as much classroom experience as we can provide, and therefore wish to support you to be here on campus. We hope we can increase the amount of face-to-face engagement and social activities that we are able to offer over the year as Government and Public Health advice allows. This will depend on Irish government advice and when covid19 is brought under control.

We understand that some of you will not be able to join us in UCD, due to circumstances caused by COVID-19 which are beyond your control. This may be due to travel restrictions or because your health situation requires you to shield.

If you are in this position, we will do our best to help you maintain a strong connection to our University community and your programme of study. This will be through online options that will allow you to engage with your learning and assessment.

As the year starts, you will need to tell us if you are in this position [needing to study online only] so that we can support you effectively. You will need to submit an online form which will be available soon.

If you can return to the on-campus experience before the end of the academic year, complete the same form to tell us. We will support you to do this wherever possible.









Due to Government and public health advice, many lectures will take place online for the first trimester. Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. The details on how this works will depend on Irish government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time. 









Your safety and wellbeing are our priority.  We are implementing social distancing measures across our campuses.  As part of our approach we will use dedicated entrances and exits along with one-way systems where possible, queues and distance markers combined with other safety measures like hand sanitising stations. This will apply to:

  • teaching and study spaces
  • residences
  • laboratories
  • social and sports facilities
  • libraries
  • outdoor spaces

Our buildings will be cleaned and disinfected regularly in accordance with government and public health advice, and additional handwashing and sanitising facilities will be provided.

We will continue to follow government guidance between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.









Many of our academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise. We are busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.  Students will receive clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. Students will be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities.   









We will continue to follow government guidance between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.  Plans are in place to ensure we can support you towards your desired learning outcomes, whatever the circumstances.





UCD is working hard to ensure that all students undertaking their studies in 2020/21 will have the best possible university experience, while complying with the evolving public health guidelines at all times.

We recognise that there are additional support considerations for international students, as you prepare to book flights, confirm accommodation arrangements, plan logistics and prepare yourselves physically, mentally and emotionally for moving to another country. 

Here are some of they key ways in which we’re getting ready to support you:

  • A dedicated airport meet-and-greet and transport service will be provided for all international students arriving into Ireland. Incoming students will be contacted and asked to provide arrival dates and times so that private transportation can be organised from the airport to UCD.
  • UCD will endeavour to offer accommodation on campus, to all UCD international students (both new and those returning) for the period of their 2020/2021 academic studies. However, due to uncertainties at present in respect of the number of students wishing to stay in our on-campus residences, we cannot guarantee that our capacity will fully meet the student demand.
  • On arrival in Ireland for the commencement of classes on 21 or 28 September, all UCD international students registering for 2020/2021 programmes will be provided accommodation for the first 14 days prior to term commencement, to satisfy the Irish government’s recommendation for isolation/restricted movement in that period. 
  • Those students availing of accommodation on UCD campus for the period of their 2020/2021 studies will be offered these 14 days accommodation in the period prior to term commencement free of charge. A fee for this accommodation will be charged to those UCD students intending to live off campus after the 14-day period of isolation/movement restriction. 
  • Further details in relation to accommodation booking arrangements will be provided shortly.
  • UCD Global will be coordinating a series of social and cultural events for new international students throughout the month of September. These will be delivered both virtually and in-person (where possible) and will be designed to assist and support new international students commencing their studies in UCD.

Staff across UCD will be available to guide you, with specific activities and support from UCD Global, including information provision by the Global Experience Team, organising events through the Virtual Global Lounge, and providing advice on immigration procedures. 

We also have a team of Global Guides who are all current students and they’re available to provide peer support, advice, and to assist with developing a sense of community on campus.








As of 5 August, Ireland's borders remain open and there are no additional restrictions on travel to Ireland. However, the Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to  complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form on arrival and to restrict your movements for 14 days.

Although Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU), the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU have not been adopted by Ireland.

The Irish Government has also now published a “green list” of countries, which will be updated every two weeks. Anyone travelling from a green list country will not be required to restrict their movements on arrival in Ireland.

The Irish Government has advised that it is continuing with plans to strengthen the existing measures for monitoring passengers who arrive into Ireland, including the introduction of an Electronic Passenger Locator Form, enhanced follow-up procedures, a call centre, and a proposed testing regime for symptomatic passengers at airports and ports.  

Note: this advice is subject to change at short notice, and UCD will update this FAQ with new information as soon as it is available.








We recommend that you check the Irish Embassy/Consulate website in your current country of residence before making travel arrangements. You may also require a study visa to enter Ireland, so please check the INIS website for further details.

At present, the Irish Health Authorities requires anyone coming into Ireland from a country not on the government’s green list  to restrict their movements for 14 days. By law, if you arrive in Ireland from overseas you will need to fill in a form called the Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form. This form can be filled out before you travel. If you need help, let border personnel know when you arrive in Ireland.

Please check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. Bearing in mind that advice may change at short notice, you should check to ensure you have the latest information. We recommend that you take the restricted movement period into consideration for booking travel and accommodation. 

All incoming international students are advised to download the Covid-19 Tracker App which can alert you if you have come into close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.




A number of Visa Application Centres have recently announced they will accept long stay visa applications from Monday 22 June on. Please check the website of your closest Irish Embassy for new announcements. In the meantime, please make sure you have all documentation required to support your application and be ready to apply soon.

You can find more information on student visas here.



Students who are travelling from outside Ireland and have booked on-campus accommodation for their full term of study will be able to move in to UCD Residences from Thursday 20 August. There will be no room charge (for students planning to avail of on-campus accommodation) for any period of restricted movement prior to Thursday 10 September, when the licence period for your accommodation in UCD Residences commences.

Further Information on these dates and arrangements for on-campus accommodation is available on the UCD Residences website.








For Stage 1 Undergraduate students, formal orientation activities will take place from 22 September. Programme information will be provided by your College/School and information on wider university activities will be made available on the ‘New Students’ section of the UCD website.

UCD Global will be coordinating a series of social and cultural events for new international students throughout the month of September. These will be delivered both virtually and in-person (where possible) and will be designed to assist and support new international students commencing their studies in UCD. Further information will be provided on this section of the UCD Global website.








To support students who cannot attend campus in the early part of the Autumn (September 2020) trimester for personal or travel reasons, the University is proposing at-distance alternatives for undergraduate and taught masters students, with the expectation that these students will attend campus when it is possible for them to do so.



If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to Ireland for the start of your course, you should not travel, and should follow all local health advice. You should wait for clear medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling.

You should contact us at and inform us of your situation. 



There are many different ways that you can connect with UCD over the summer, some of which are listed below:

  • Incoming Student Portal - a dedicated portal for students with an offer of study providing access to important information about coming to UCD as well as helping to connect you with other students from your country/state and with other students on your programme
  • Engage with Virtual Global Lounge events
  • Start chatting on the UCD Global Incoming International Students Facebook group
  • Learn more about jobs and employment in Ireland by taking the Jumpstart Programme offered by the UCD Careers Network which is specifically designed for international students
  • Check out some of the recent UCD Festival videos
  • Consider taking part in the Gaeltacht UCD Irish Language Summer School online to learn some basic Irish language skills
  • Learn more about Irish literature via RadioMoLi, a digital radio station run by the Museum of Literature Ireland








Advice for Prospective Study Abroad Students

The health, welfare and safety of our students and staff is our primary concern at this time. We want to reassure you that UCD is providing a solid framework of support for students and staff. We have been providing regular updates to the UCD community about our local response to COVID-19, based on the expert advice of Irish Government agencies. As Ireland's Global University, UCD researchers are contributing their academic expertise, specifically through membership of two global networks which are rapidly coordinating clinical research into new cases of COVID-19:

  • UCD is a member of the Global Virus Network, which coordinates laboratory research into rapid diagnostics for new emerging infections.
  • UCD also leads on an international Critical Care Network that conducts research into emerging infections.

Beyond these networks, one of UCD's leading medical researchers, Dr Cillian De Gascun, has been appointed to chair the expert advisory group to provide advice on COVID-19 to the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) and the National Public Health Emergency Team. Dr De Gascun is laboratory director at the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory. Elsewhere on campus, members of the university community are volunteering at COVID-19 contact tracing call centres. You can also reas more about this call centre in this news article


All new study abroad applications for study at UCD are treated as normal, irrespective of where you are from or currently reside. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update these FAQs as more information becomes available. Our advice is that you check back with us regularly for the latest advice and guidance. You can also contact for further assistance. 









Yes, if you are approved by your home university or provider– please still apply as the situation in all countries is likely to change over the next few months. We will continue to welcome applications from students approved by their home university or provider to take part in UCD’s study abroad programme.

If your application is successful, we will be in touch with you about the next steps leading up to registration. We will continue to follow public health guidelines and will be sure to notify any affected applicants should alternative arrangements apply.

Your application is important to us, and we are continuing to assess all applications as normal. If you are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect your plans to study at UCD once you have received a decision from us, please read the advice being shared with current students on campus.

We aim to process online applications to all Study Abroad Programmes within a two week timeframe (10 working days).  The quick turnaround in decisions will allow applicants to plan accordingly for their semester abroad.   If you have submitted an online application and have not received a decision within two weeks, please contact

We have extended the application deadline for the September Trimester 20/21 to June 1st.  However, we are aware that delays may be unavoidable for you in providing the documentation needed to support your application. We aim to be as flexible as possible. If you require extra time to gather requested documentation, such as academic transcripts, please reach out to so that we are aware of any delays.

Study Abroad tuition fees (whether paying UCD directly or paying through your home institution or provider) are not collected until the end of September.  There will be no financial implications for you if you decide to withdraw from the Study Abroad Programme you are enrolled in, up until the start of the September trimester teaching term.

We are continuing to assess new Study Abroad applications, and are preparing to welcome our new students in September 2020 as normal. If you think that you can no longer commence your studies in September 2020, please contact your home university or provider and your UCD Study Abroad Programme Managers at